It’s easy to fall into a writing rut, staying safe within the walls of your writing comfort zone. I’ve done it plenty of times, using the same kinds of characters in the same kinds of plots with the same kind of genre. For a while it’ll be nothing but sixteen-year-old orphaned heroines in a fantasy world or talking animals who always get into trouble. But as much as writing your favorite stories is fun, it’s a fine line between safe and stale.
Just like with any creative activity, if you’re not careful to broaden your horizons, you can get stuck easily. That’s why it’s good to branch out a little, find some writing prompts online or even challenge yourself to write for a different age group. Still not convinced? Here are three reasons why you should break free from your writing comfort zone.
1. You find out what you don’t like
Here’s a little tip: You won’t like everything you try and that’s okay. You tried science-fiction and it didn’t work? That’s fine! You’ve tried it and you now know it’s not for you. You don’t have to write science-fiction ever again if you don’t want to. But now you don’t have to waste your time wondering about it.
2. You discover new things
On the other hand, with every activity you try and don’t like, you’ll find one you do. So maybe sci-fi wasn’t your thing, but historical fiction might be. Maybe you discover that doing the research and fact checking for your stories are actually tons of fun. But you never would’ve known it if you hadn’t tried.
3. The challenge improves your creativity
Ultimately, whether you like it or not, trying something new is a huge challenge. You have to step outside everything you’ve known, everything that’s safe, and find a way to make this new thing work. It’s a great creative exercise, and strengthening those muscles will help you in the long run with whatever you do.
Break Free from Your Writing Comfort Zone
All writers occasionally fall into writing ruts. Choose to break free from your writing comfort zone by taking some risks. Don’t forget to take notes along the way, because you’ll be sure to learn a few things.
In the words of Katherine Mansfield,
Because sometimes the hardest thing to do is the very best thing to do.
What are some ways you’ve broken out of your writing comfort zone? How did that help you in your writing? Let me know in the comments section.
For fifteen minutes, write something completely new. Whether it be a new genre, a new kind of character, or a new setting, write something that’s out of your comfort zone that you’ve never tried before. Then, if you want to, share your practice in the comments. Don’t forget to give your fellow writers a little love, too. Have fun!